Fior Liza Camilo
Any damage to your windscreen would not be covered, yet windscreens are the most common damage cars suffer.
If your windscreen needed replacing and your insurer deducted your excess, could you afford to pay for it?
A claims for a windscreen could result in you losing your no claims discount. Next year's premiums increase could be huge.
You might expect third party only to be the cheapest form of insurance cover — after all, third party offers the least protection of all types of insurance. But this isn’t always the case, and drivers can end up paying more for less cover. In fact, according to Uswitch research, those who only search for third party cover could pay £929 more compared to a comprehensive policy. What is the difference between third party and comprehensive insurance?Read our full guide
We've answered common car insurance questions to help you understand what you need and to decide what car insurance is best for you.
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Having windscreen cover means you can get chips in your car windscreen repaired without having to spend any money.
If you’re driving along and notice a tiny crack or chip in your windscreen, you may think that this isn't worth paying the excess on your car insurance policy to repair. But if left untreated the chip could turn into a crack, eventually shattering the windscreen.
Having windscreen cover means you can get even small chips repaired. But it also covers the complete replacement of a windscreen that cracks or is smashed.
It’s worth checking whether you already have windscreen cover included on your car insurance.
Windscreen damage is one of the most common issues dealt with by car insurance companies:
driving on busy streets, your windscreen might take the battering of one too many small stone chips
on a frosty morning, your windscreen might crack under the pressure from the heat in your car
even the smallest chips and cracks can become much larger problems as they weaken the glass of your windscreen
Having a chipped windscreen repaired as soon as it appears can mean avoiding the expense of having to replace the entire windscreen altogether.
Depending on your policy, windscreen cover could be included as standard or it could be a standalone extra you need to pay for.
Make sure to read through your car insurance policy carefully to find out what your car insurance covers you against and what excess payments might be applied to windscreen claims. Also check if windscreen claims affect your no claims bonus.
It may be possible to upgrade your policy but in some cases you will be better off buying a separate windscreen policy that has no excess and will not affect your car insurance no claims discount.
On a comprehensive car insurance policy, at the very minimum your windscreen will be covered much like the way every other part of your car is covered. But you would still have to pay an excess if you made a claim.
Windscreen cover is not included on a third party policy, as this type of policy does not cover damage to your vehicle.
Where it is included, some standard policy wordings mean even if you only have a minor chip you would still need to pay your full excess.
Windscreen damage is common and yet often easily fixed. That means making a claim on your car insurance policy and having to pay the full excess would probably be poor value. It would also affect your car insurance’s no claims discount.
Many insurers offer specific windscreen cover as part of your car insurance policy. This means that you have a separate section of your car insurance specifically for your windscreen that would normally cover the cost of any repairs and replacements needed.
You would still be expected to pay an excess for each claim, but this excess is lower than the full excess you would need to pay for any standard car insurance claim. Crucially, any claim made on a standalone windscreen cover should not have any impact on your no claims bonus.
Not always. In some cases if you only need to repair a chip or small crack in the windscreen, the car insurance company may not charge you an excess. There may be an excess charged for a larger job or a full windscreen replacement, but this excess is usually lower than the main compulsory excess on your car insurance policy.
The amount of excess you get charged could be more expensive if you don’t use an approved repairer. This is because many insurance companies have partnerships with approved repairers and get a discount.
Always check with your insurer first before getting it fixed, as they may put a limit on how much you can spend on repairs. Your insurer might be able to get your windscreen fixed faster using their approved repairer.
You should get damaged windscreens fixed as quickly as possible regardless of whether or not you have windscreen cover. This is for your own safety.
If you have windscreen cover and you delay getting a small chip fixed and the windscreen crack gets bigger, your claim could be invalidated. Your insurer will be able to see that the damage could have been fixed for a lot cheaper if you had made the claim earlier.
If you don't have windscreen cover and the chip gets larger, chances are the windscreen might be beyond repair and you will have a larger bill trying to get it replaced.
Having a large crack in your windscreen is dangerous, and could see you fail your MOT. It could even get you stopped by the police if deemed to be illegal.
You can buy physical covers to protect your windscreen from extremes of temperature. Windscreen frost covers and can be bought from hardware or suppliers of car parts.
You can prevent heat extremes from cracking your windscreen by parking your car out of the sun as heat can cause the glass to expand.
Some windscreen cover policies also pay to repair your car's bodywork if any of the broken glass from the damaged windscreen has scratched the car or chipped off some of the paint, for example.
Check if side windows and rear windows are covered in the policy too, as this could prove to be a good money saver later on should you need to make a claim on a smashed window outside of your standard car insurance policy.
Cover could end up costing you somewhere between £30 and £50 per year and you may only have to pay an excess of around £50 in the event you need to replace the windscreen.
Getting windscreen cover as an add-on can be a great way to save money on car repairs, as without insurance can normally cost around £60 to £100 (depending on a variety of factors) for the most minor chips plus any additional fees for call outs made out of standard office hours.
The costs can quickly escalate if there are multiple chips or extensive damage to the windscreen.
Most windscreen repair companies can repair your windscreen fairly easily and if it's a small crack. The crack or chip should not be:
within 6cm of any edge of the glass
a maximum of 28mm at any point
no wider than 10mm if it appears within the 30cm wide vertical band in front of the driver's view